Okay, let’s see if I can get through today with a straight face…Susannah and I have so much in common it's almost like interviewing myself, but…Here goes.
Today, I’m welcoming paranormal romance author Susannah Sandlin to the blog. Her new dark paranormal romance series, The Penton Legacy, gets started today with the release of Redemption. Susannah is a native of Alabama, but has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana, working in higher education. Redemption is the first in a new series that will continue in September with Absolution and December with Omega. You can find more about her and her books at her website. And you can find the book online HERE (the ebook's only $3.99 right now) or at most online retailers.
ABOUT REDEMPTION: The world’s vampire population is on the brink of starvation since the vaccine to treat a global pandemic rendered human blood deadly to them. Their only hope for survival is a handful of rural areas that the vaccine never breached.
The tiny town of Penton, Alabama, is one such enclave, where the immortal Aidan Murphy has established a community of vampires and their willingly bonded humans. Together, they live in peace—until Aidan’s estranged brother descends upon the town and begins attacking its humans. Whether the rampage is a result of his centuries-old feud with Aidan or the civil war threatening to erupt in the vampire world matters not. All that matters is the blood.
Desperate to save his adopted family, Aidan breaks one of his cardinal rules, kidnapping an unvaccinated human doctor—and unexpectedly falling in love for the first time in nearly four hundred years.
Give us the “elevator pitch” for Redemption.
When a pandemic vaccine renders human blood poisonous to them, vampires grow desperate. Untouched is tiny Penton, Alabama, where Aidan Murphy lives with his scathe and their bonded human companions—until Aidan’s estranged brother arrives, bent on destruction. Desperate to protect his community, Aidan kidnaps a human doctor—and unexpectedly finds love among the ruins.
Describe your favorite scene from Redemption--and why is it your favorite?
Krys, the doctor who’s been kidnapped, is brought to the medical clinic to treat Mirren, the second highest-ranked vampire in the town besides Aidan (and one big, scary-looking dude). Mirren has been shot in the back with buckshot that’s been scored with vaccinated blood, so it’s spreading poison through his system—plus it’s almost dawn, so they need to get the buckshot out before sunrise.
Poor Krys, who still hasn’t been let in on the fact that her kidnappers are vampires, is trying to treat him as she would a human—methodically, with an attention to pain control and minimizing the chance of infection. At the same time, Aidan is trying to get her to hurry up and just dig the crap out with his dirty knife. Finally, Mirren looks up with his silvery eyes (which the vampires get when they’re agitated or hungry) and flashes fangs. Let’s just say Krys’s real education is about to begin.
It was a fun scene to write because of the tension between Aidan and Krys—and, as usual, Mirren just cuts through the crap.
What was the hardest scene to write?
The scene where Aidan finally has to either let go of his past or relinquish his future. It’s a very emotional scene, and he has to face some hard truths about himself and the baggage he’s carried around with him for a very long time. It actually made me cry when I wrote it, and that doesn’t happen very often.
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
It’s so far beyond being a pile…it’s almost a TBR room at this point! I think I’m going to tackle a book called Plain Fear by Leanna Ellis that I have an ARC for—it comes out in August and is an Amish vampire story. How unusual is that? It has my curiosity aroused, for sure. I just finished Marta Acosta’s Dark Companion, a YA Jane Eyre-inspired gothic novel that I absolutely loved. It comes out next month.
Favorite book when you were a child.
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. When I first went to Europe a number of years ago, the thing I brought home from Zurich was a copy of Heidi in German :-)
Book you've faked reading (Moby Dick is leading the votes on this question!):
Yeah, that would be Moby Dick. Also A Tale of Two Cities…and shame on me because I was a Victorian Lit major! But I was more of a Thomas Hardy kind of girl.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Probably Rick Bragg’s trilogy of memoirs: All Over But the Shouting, Ava’s Man, and The Prince of Frogtown. He writes with heartbreaking honesty and lyricism about a part of the country and type of family that I know all too well.
Book you've bought for the cover:
The first one that comes to mind is Felix Palma’s The Map of Time. I thought the cover was gorgeous. I’m ashamed to say the book is still languishing on my TBR pile, though. I have to be in the right mood to read steampunk. I find it a difficult genre for some reason.
Book that changed your life:
Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s probably still my all-time favorite novel. It’s the first book I remember sitting around and debating with friends, the first time I realized how a book could bring people together, how it could make you think of deeper issues lying beneath a ripping-good story. The book works on so many levels, not the least of which are the themes of family, good versus evil, faith, belonging, and love.
Favorite line from a book:
I frequently (and obnoxiously) quote favorite lines from Gone with the Wind. Usually some variations on: “Yankees in Georgia! How did they ever get in?” and “This is war, woman, not a garden party” and “I don’t know nothing ‘bout birthin’ babies.” Delivered with a very heavy Southern accent, of course. In fact, last week, talking about Redemption, I believe I was overheard saying, “Vampires in Alabama? How did they ever get in?”
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
When Kisten does you-know-what in Kim Harrison’s For a Few Demons More. I still haven’t gotten over it. Second-place would when Doc Jane does you-know-what in JR Ward’s Lover Unbound. I haven’t gotten over that one, either. Readers have long memories.
Favorite book about books or writing:
Me and everybody else: Stephen King’s On Writing.
Okay, want to win a signed print copy of Redemption, or an audio CD copy plus a signed bookplate, or an ebook plus a signed bookplate? Just leave a comment…Have you ever bought a book for the cover?
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